The Journey Back to a Fitter Me: What’s the Recipe for Success?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Recently, I started this series after having my third child and struggling to return to the land of the physically active.  The first few weeks back, I focused on getting into a consistent routine and finding activities that I enjoy.  Since my free time is limited more now than ever, it’s important that I like what I’m doing.  But just as importantly, I need to make the most of the time I have available.  I had a lot of motivation the first few weeks, but now I’ve hit a few roadblocks.  Just three weeks in, how do I find the drive to stay on the right track?
Week two recap:  I’m getting the routine down pretty well, although my workouts are still a little shorter than I’d like.  At least I’m doing something, which has been the goal up to this point.  Last week my challenge was to find some new exercise videos to mix things up, so I called on my friend, Coach Nicole, for advice.  I asked her for suggestions of videos that were challenging, had both a cardio and strength component, and only lasted about 30 minutes.  She gave me some good suggestions and I’ve already tried a few of them that will be incorporated into my regular video rotation.
Step 3:  Increase the intensity and challenge.  Since I was still active during my pregnancy (just not nearly at the level I was used to), I feel like I’m not starting from ground zero.  If you are, it might be good to wait to increase the intensity or length of your workouts until you feel pretty comfortable with where you are right now.   Everyone is different, so it’s important to do what works best for you.  For me, I know that I’m ready to start doing a little more running than walking, and also increasing the length of my workouts.  For the next few weeks, I’m going to aim for 30-40 minutes of walk/jogging (mostly jogging), 3 days a week.  Doing a short video one or two additional days per week should give me a well-rounded program.  There’s just one small problem…..
I’m tired!  Being a mom of three is exhausting.  I’m up multiple times a night to feed the baby (who doesn’t usually go back to sleep smoothly), and my days are filled with diaper changes, running to and from preschool, work and keeping up with all of the other demands of daily life.  I’m not complaining- I wouldn’t trade my life for anything.  But finding that extra energy to push myself during a workout is not going to be easy to come by.  My plan for now is to try and bump things up, but I’m willing to change my strategy if it starts to feel like exercise is draining me more than energizing me.  I have to be realistic that I can’t do everything 100% all the time.  Although my long-term goal is to run another marathon next year, that’s next year, not right now.  Right now I need to focus on getting stronger, getting rest, and being there for my family.
What about you?  If you’ve recently started back to exercising, how’s it going?  Are you ready to step things up or are you feeling good about how things are progressing right now? 

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